If it’s April, then that means the Sonoma International Film Festival is back in action and with many music-themed movies and plenty of live music as well. The big event is tonight, April 4, with the screening of “Born in Chicago” at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building. The story revolves around the ’60s icons of urban blues, including Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and how the musical torch was passed the coterie of an unlikely next generation admirers, among who were Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel and Corky Siegel. Doors open at 7 p.m., film screens at 8 p.m. with a live show including some of the performers in the film at 10 p.m. There will be an encore screening at Murphy's Irish Pub on Saturday April 5, at 1 p.m. without a show following.
“Take Me to the River” which just won the Audience Award at SXSW where it had its world premiere, is a celebration of the inter-generational and inter-racial musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. The movie features Terrence Howard, William Bell, Snoop Dog, Mavis Staples, Otis Clay, Lil P-Nut, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby “Blue” Bland, the North Mississippi All-Stars and many more. The film will screen twice, Saturday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre and again on Sunday, April 6, at 11:45 a.m. at the Vintage House senior center.
“Chronic Love” follows the flamboyant Grammy nominated Cuban-born and New York based singer CuCu Diamantes on her tour around Cuba. The film interweaves footage of live musical performances with a fictional love story narrative. First screening is tonight, at 8 p.m. at the Sebastiani Theatre, immediately following the Latin Fiesta in the Back lot tent. The second screening is at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at the La Luz Center.
Live music in the back lot tent continues throughout the weekend with today, April 4, with Sean Carscadden from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Jeff Falconer from 1 to 3 p.m. and Carlos Herrera from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 5, it’s Rick Hardin, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Chi McClean from 1 to 3 p.m. and Dan Martin from 3 to 5 p.m. The live music continues Sunday, April 6, with Don Trotta from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., JMB and the Big O from 1 to 3 p.m. and Fancy Mother with Sue Albano from 3 to 5 p.m. Ten Foot Tone will also be at the Maysonnave House from 3 to 5:30 p.m. A festival pass is required to attend any of the movies and back lot music, and day passes can be purchased at the back lot tent.
Burgers and Vine has two shows this weekend, starting tonight, April 4, with the Whiskey Thieves. Saturday, April 5, it’s classic rock with Loosely Covered. Showtime both nights is 9:30 p.m.
The Annex Wine Bar has the Mark Larson Trio tonight, April 4, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5, it’s Keith Andrew also for a 7:30 p.m. show. There is no cover for any of the shows but the venue is 21 and over.
The Epicurean Connection presents the Highway Poets tonight, April 4, for a 7:30 p.m. show. Saturday, April 5, it’s Jake Barrett and Company also for a 7:30 p.m. start. Sunday, April 6, it’s Lindalou and Michael, kicking off at 1 p.m.